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Thread: North Branford Gun Prohibition?

  1. #1
    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    Found:
    http://www.ecode360.com/?custId=NO0079

    136-1
    Use of dangerous weapons on town property.
    [Amended 10-10-1995 by Ord. No. 188]
    No person shall hunt, carry or discharge any dangerous weapon, as defined in the Connecticut General Statutes Section 53-206, on any land owned by the Town of North Branford. The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to any police officer engaged in the performance of his or her duties.
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    Well, if you read the jury instructions for 53-206, you'll see that a "dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument" can only be defined after the weapon has been used in such a manner. It's a "catch all" definition that is meant to cover anything from a stick, to a beer bottle, to a pen, but only if it's used as a weapon. That definition cannot be used to charge someone for merely carrying such an item. Any of the other items listed, however, are still prohibited.

    Weapons listed in 53-206 does not include a firearm:
    - BB gun.
    - blackjack.
    - metal or brass knuckles.
    - dirk knife.
    - switch knife.
    - knife having an automatic spring release device by which a blade is released from the handle, having a blade of over one and one-half inches in length.
    - stiletto.
    - knife the edged portion of the blade of which is four inches or over in length.
    - police baton or nightstick.
    - martial arts weapon or electronic defense weapon.
    - any dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument.


    Element 1 - Carried weapon
    The first element is that the defendant carried <insert specific weapon> upon (his/her) person. A weapon is "carried" if it is on one's person and within the person's control or dominion, meaning that the person must be aware of its presence.2

    <Insert appropriate definition(s):>

    A "martial arts weapon" is a nunchaku, kama, kasari-fundo, octagon sai, tonfa, or Chinese star.
    An "electronic defense weapon" is a weapon which by electronic impulse or current is capable of immobilizing a person temporarily, but is not capable of inflicting death or serious physical injury.
    Dangerous instrument" is any instrument, article or substance which, under the circumstances in which it is used or attempted or threatened to be used, is capable of causing death or serious physical injury. It is important to note that the article need not be inherently dangerous; all that is required is that the article was capable of causing death or serious physical injury under the circumstances in which it was used. Any article or substance, without limitation and even though harmless under normal use, may be found by you to be a dangerous instrument, if under the circumstances of its use or threatened or attempted use, it is readily capable of producing serious physical injury or death.
    [<If the conduct involves a threat and not an actual use of a dangerous instrument:> A threat can only be punishable when it is a true threat, that is, a threat that a reasonable person would understood as a serious expression of an intent to harm or assault, and not as mere puffery, bluster, jest or hyperbole. In determining whether the threat is a true threat, consider the particular factual context in which the allegedly threatening conduct occurred which could include the reaction of the person allegedly being threatened and the defendant's conduct before and after the allegedly threatening conduct.]3
    1 Note that the definition of "deadly weapon" in General Statutes § 53a-3 (6) explicitly excludes its application to § 53-206.

    2 State v. Hopes, 26 Conn. App. 367, 375, cert. denied, 221 Conn. 915 (1992).

    3 See State v. Cook, 287 Conn. 237, 252 (2008).


    Commentary

    A knife with a cutting blade less than 4 inches long, which does not explicitly come under the statute, may come under "dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument." State v. Holloway, 11 Conn. App. 665, 671 (1987).

    Self-defense may be available to a charge under this statute, if it was the defendant's use of the item that made it a dangerous instrument. State v. Ramos, 271 Conn. 785, 803 n.13 (2004).

    The "place of business" exception means only premises that contain a business in which the defendant has a proprietary or possessory interest, not a location at which the defendant is merely an employee. State v. Vickers, 260 Conn. 219, 221-22 (2002). It is also limited to fixed places of business only, and does not encompass taxicabs. State v. Lutters, 270 Conn. 198, 208 (2004). A stairway and landing leading to the defendant's apartment was not in his exclusive control and thus did not come within the dwelling exception. State v. Sealy, supra, 208 Conn. 694.

    See General Statutes § 53-206 (b) for exceptions to culpability. "[W]here exceptions to a prohibition in a criminal statute are situated separately from the enacting clause, the exceptions are to be proven by the defense." (Internal quotation marks omitted.) State v. Valinski, 254 Conn. 107, 123 (2000) (rule also applies when the exception is found in a separate statute).

  3. #3
    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    It is the 'carry' portion of their list that worries me most.
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    If it's not a prohibited weapon, then they can't do anything about you carrying it.

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    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    gluegun wrote:
    If it's not a prohibited weapon, then they can't do anything about you carrying it.
    Yeah, you are right. What a ridiculous law.

    I do note this part:
    <If the conduct involves a threat and not an actual use of a dangerous instrument:> A threat can only be punishable when it is a true threat, that is, a threat that a reasonable person would understood as a serious expression of an intent to harm or assault, and not as mere puffery, bluster, jest or hyperbole. In determining whether the threat is a true threat, consider the particular factual context in which the allegedly threatening conduct occurred which could include the reaction of the person allegedly being threatened and the defendant's conduct before and after the allegedly threatening conduct.
    Seems like that a clarification like that should be added to the breach of peace clause about causing alarm. That would kill the idea of being charged with BoP for OCing.
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    Rich B wrote:
    Seems like that a clarification like that should be added to the breach of peace clause about causing alarm. That would kill the idea of being charged with BoP for OCing.
    The criminal jury instructions do have this for breach of peace:
    8.4-4 Breach of the Peace in the Second Degree -- § 53a-181 (a) (3)

    Revised to June 12, 2009

    The defendant is charged [in count __] with breach of the peace in the second degree. The statute defining this offense reads in pertinent as follows:

    a person is guilty of breach of the peace when, with intent to cause inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof, such person threatens to commit any crime against another person or such other person's property.

    For you to find the defendant guilty of this charge, the state must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

    Element 1 - Intent
    The first element is that the defendant

    *

    acted with the intent to cause inconvenience, annoyance or alarm. The predominant intent must be to cause what a reasonable person operating under contemporary community standards would consider a disturbance to or impediment of a lawful activity, a deep feeling of vexation or provocation, or a feeling of anxiety prompted by threatened danger or harm. <See Intent: Specific, Instruction 2.3-1.>
    *

    recklessly created a risk of causing inconvenience, annoyance or alarm. A person acts "recklessly" with respect to a result or circumstances when (he/she) is aware of and consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that such result will occur or that such circumstances exist. <See Recklessness, Instruction 2.3-4.>

    The words "inconvenience, annoyance or alarm" refer to what a reasonable person operating under contemporary community standards would consider a disturbance to or impediment of a lawful activity, a deep feeling of vexation or provocation, or a feeling of anxiety prompted by threatened danger or harm.1

    Element 2 - Threat
    The second element is that the defendant threatened to commit a crime against another person or (his/her) property. The state claims that the defendant threatened to commit the crime of <identify crime> against <identify other person or the property>. This crime is defined by statute as <read applicable statute>.

    A threat can only be punishable when it is a true threat, that is, a threat that a reasonable person would understood as a serious expression of an intent to harm or assault, and not as mere puffery, bluster, jest or hyperbole. In determining whether the threat is a true threat, consider the particular factual context in which the allegedly threatening conduct occurred which could include the reaction of the person allegedly being threatened and the defendant's conduct before and after the allegedly threatening conduct.2
    The jury instructions have no force of law, but they explain the relevant laws and case law at issue to the jury who decides the case based on the evidence. They're a fantastic resource for understanding the criminal statutes.

  7. #7
    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    Wow, I couldn't find that one when I looked for it. Good find.
    Connecticut Carry is dedicated to advancing and protecting the fundamental civil rights of the men and women of Connecticut to keep and bear arms for self defense of themselves and the state as guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Constitution of Connecticut.

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